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Last Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008, 17:29 GMT
Hope of finding first King's home
Excavations
Last year students excavated a ritual site and cemetery
Archaeologists believe they could be closer to discovering the site of the palace belonging to the first King of a united Scotland.

The academics at Glasgow University have been studying documents and previous archaeological finds to narrow down the location in Perthshire.

They will return in August to Forteviot in the hope of uncovering evidence of Kenneth MacAlpine's wooden castle.

MacAlpine died at the Palace of Forteviot in 858.

Dr Kenneth Brophy from the University of Glasgow said: "The palace is mentioned in a lot of medieval and later texts as being a stone building, but because it's early medieval it would've been a wooden building.

"It's allegedly in the Foteviot area somewhere and various attempts have been made to find it archaeologically before, but they've not been successful."

The academics have previously carried out work in the surrounding area.

What's now a very small village, was once maybe one of the major centres of royal power in Scotland
Kenneth Brophy
Glasgow University

They excavated the entrance of an enclosure they believe would have been used for ritual purposes, and would have been more impressive than Stonehenge.

They also worked on a graveyard, which they suspect could have been the biggest medieval cemetery in Scotland.

About 40 researchers and 10 local people will work in the area in August for three weeks in the hope of finding the royal palace.

Dr Brophy said: "It would be the first archaeological proof that there was a royal centre at Forteviot, which obviously has implications for our understanding of the early Scottish nation.

"My colleagues are very excited about the possibility of actually pinning down this almost legendary building.

"What's now a very small village, was once maybe one of the major centres of royal power in Scotland."

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